“We’re the Baugh brothers, identical twins born and raised in Colorado with a passion for an active lifestyle and adventure. Our free time is spent skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, powerlifting, auto racing, cycling, and backpacking.”
What do you get when you combine a shared passion for outdoor sports, nature, and healthy food? Fit people. Fit people who have great ideas… like making protein bars out of crickets.
William Walcker, Minh-Anh Pham, and Antoine Domergue are the three men who woke up one morning and decided they would make protein bars out of crickets. Kidding – it’s a much more interesting story than that. I had the pleasure of speaking with Minh to hear a little more about how he went from triathlete to cricket evangelist.
The horizon is vast, and the journey will be long, but I’m excited so many edible insect companies are coming along!
Wendy Lu McGill, CEO of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, made a great point during her presentation at Eating Insects Detroit. She mentioned that most of the entomo-enthusiasts in the room had something in common: they were, or are, first to market *mic drop*.
What does it mean to be first to market? The edible insect market is relatively new in our modern industrial timeline. It’s beautiful / cool / exciting / invigorating to be at the precipice of a new industry – to be a part of a community where the rules are still being written! One could also say, however, it’s confusing / stressful / risky / an uphill battle to be at the precipice of a new industry where the rules are still being written. It depends how you look at it.
So… we have this weird proclivity to refer to food as “grub,” but get turned off by the thought of eating a grub. Ironic much?
As the cost of animal protein continues to rise and food and feed insecurity becomes more problematic, we need to get serious about addressing our food choices.
Thankfully, most of the world is already eating insects. From Mexico to Asia, two billion people eat a regular diet of insects. In Western cultures, at least it seems to be a growing trend from groups of people as diverse as bodybuilders and environmentalists.
Big. Bold. Beautiful. Saucy.
I could easily be describing your dream girl. Or I could be lauding the incredible flavor profile of my new favorite bolognese sauces. One Hop Kitchen has created the world’s first best, and only insect based bolognese sauce using crickets and mealworms.
As they tout on their website, their sauces have big bolognese flavor with a tiny environmental footprint. Replacing beef with insect protein makes a huge difference. One jar of One Hop Kitchen’s bolognese saves 1900 L of water compared to beef (that’s 18 bathtubs). Livestock rearing is responsible for 18% of green house gas emissions – anything we can do to lower our reliance on livestock is a step in the right direction. Ok we know that eating insects is good for our health, and that of the environment, but what makes One Hop Kitchen so special?
Few things perk me up in the morning like receiving an email titled, “New Research on Cricket Farming – Thought You’d Be Interested.” Any contribution to the growing literature on entomophagy is a welcome gift! Last week I received such a message and dove into a great piece called Small-Scale Cricket Farming by Thomas Weigel of Veterinarians Without Borders.
The fitness market is huge – and growing. In September 2014, Globe Newswire reported that the global sports nutrition market was valued at USD 20.7 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.0% from 2013 to 2019, to reach an estimated value of USD 37.7 billion in 2019.
“Increasing health awareness, healthy lifestyle, rising number of health clubs and fitness centers and changing consumer clusters for nutritional product across the globe are the key growth drivers for the global sports nutrition market. Traditionally, bodybuilders and sportspersons are the major consumers for sports nutrition products. However in recent years, new user groups (recreational and lifestyle users) have increased their market share in sports nutrition market. The market for sports nutrition is expanding from its major markets (North America) towards developing markets of Europe and Asia Pacific owing to ever-increasing population, rising income and rising living standard of consumers in these region. Countries such as India and China with their fast pace economic growth offer huge opportunities for sports nutrition market in the future. Moreover, surge in national and international sporting events and increased global participation in these; provide a good launch pad for the sports nutritional products. ”
I don’t know about you, but it makes me thrilled when I read about entomophagy more and more in popular media sites. The Huffington Post released an article today about reinventing entomophagy for the 21st century, and I couldn’t agree more.
“‘Entomophagy is an evolving term in need of review,” says Afton Marina Szasz Halloran, Ph.D Fellow at the University of Copenhagen. Halloran calls for a change in the way we speak about edible insects and entomophagy.”
After being virtually introduced by a distant mutual friend, Jena and I hit it off quickly. Owner and brains behind Tiny Farms, Jena was witty, driven, and a joy to speak with. Tiny Farms is a San Francisco based startup working on pioneering smart, scalable insect farming. We hopped on a call to discuss data, crickets, and regulations… to name a few topics. I’ll jump ahead in the story to say I ended the call with a smile on my face, knowing that we have people like Jena working hard on “smart farming” for our future.
I called to talk about crickets, but ended up with plenty to think about regarding company culture, the future of innovation, serendipity, and even artificial intelligence! Coalo Valley Farms has a lot going for it, especially strong leadership.
A little more about Coalo Valley Farms: Coalo Valley Farms is an urban cricket farm focused on the production of alternative protein through sustainable means. Coalo Valley Farms serves both businesses and private clients who are interested in eating healthier and/or reducing their environmental footprint. Established in 2014, the Coalo Valley Farms operates in San Fernando Valley out of a single farm that is modified for the organic and cruelty-free production and processing of premium cricket-based protein powder. Coalo Valley Farms focuses on giving consumers an alternative option when they choose how to ingest their protein. Cricket-based protein offers a healthier and more environmentally friendly solution to protein from traditional livestock such as cows, pigs, and chickens.